rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 04/14/2008
RSO concludes American Composers Festival
by Press Release

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra concludes the American Composers Festival this month with the final concert performance of the ComEd Classics Series at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 at the Coronado Performing Arts Theatre. 

The RSO welcomes the return of acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Biegel to perform George Gershwin’s masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue, and Leroy Anderson’s spirited piano concerto.  The RSO will also perform Alfven’s Midsummer Vigil and Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 2.

The American Composer’s Festival explores the inspiration and impetus behind the works created by three iconic American composers including Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, as well as George Gershwin - all of whom were born in the last three years of the 19th century.  In addition to the concert, there are several education opportunities remaining as part of the Festival. 

A FREE lecture by RSO Music Director Steven Larsen and RSO Executive Director Brian Ritter, titled “Connecting Cultures: Copland, Ellington, and Gershwin,” will be given at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15 in the theatre at Riverfront Museum Park located at 711 N. Main St.

To further enhance the concert experience, the program notes are available on-line.  Patrons are encouraged to attend the pre-concert lecture by Steven Larsen at 6 p.m. the night of the concert in the theatre.  Concert-goers are also invited to attend Sound Bites from noon until 1 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Brio located at 515 E. State St.  The Sound Bites on April 25 features Jeffrey Biegel in conversation with Steven Larsen.

Partial support for the American Composer’s Festival comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Illinois Arts Council, and the Rockford Area Arts Council.

Under the artistic leadership of Music Director Steven Larsen, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra is a leading arts organization in the Rockford Region and the third largest symphony orchestra in the state of Illinois.  The RSO is made up of 85 professional musicians who perform 17 concerts per year—including classics, pops, ballet, and opera—for an estimated annual audience of 30,000. 

For further information about concerts call (815) 965-0049, or visit  For information about educational events and Home School classes call (815) 972-2939.

Concert In Brief:
Rockford Symphony Orchestra Classics Concert
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Saturday, February 9, 2008
7 p.m. - Coronado Theatre

Alfven:  Midsummer Vigil
Leroy Anderson:  Piano Concerto
Jeffrey Biegel, piano
Gershwin:  Rhapsody in Blue
Jeffrey Biegel, piano
Shostakovich:  Jazz Suite No. 2
Tickets are $15 - $46 in advance
Visit or call 815-965-0049

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